Creation date : 2012

A musical theatre by Alain Platel. For years, the tension between the group and the individual has been the central theme in Platel’s performances.



A musical theatre by Alain Platel. For years, the tension between the group and the individual has been the central theme in Platel’s performances. In C(H)OEURS he examines – together with his dancers and the Teatro Real choir – how "dangerously beautiful" a group can be. What is the relation between the progressive 19th-century nationalism of Verdi and Wagner and the increasing current tendency of nations to cut themselves off? Platel questions the emotions originated by the assemblage of individuals and groups, he refl ects about the dynamic of collective movements and about the public and the individual dimensions.

Source: IMZ Internation Music +Media Centre


Format Live recording | Production Company EuroArts Music International GmbH (Germany), Teatro Real Madrid (Spain) | Co-Production Company 3sat, TVE | Producer Isabel Iturriagagoitia Bueno, EuroArts Music International GmbH (Germany) | executive Producer Ángela Álvarez Rilla, Maria Kasten, Bernd Hellthaler (EuroArts Music International GmbH, Germany), Javier González | Director Andreas Morell | Camera Nyika Jancsó | editor Alberto Pascual Otero | Duration 100' | Production Year 2012 | Recorded Teatro Real Madrid, 17.03.2012 | Musical Style Classical music | Dance Style Modern dance | Composer Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner | Stage Director Alain Platel | Choreography by Alain Platel | Dance Company Les Ballets C de la B | Costumes Dorine Demuynck | Source video/audio HD / Dolby surround 5.1 | Distribution TV EuroArts Music International GmbH (Germany) | Distribution homevideo Teatro Real Madrid (Spain)

Platel, Alain

Alain Platel is trained as a remedial educationalist, and is an autodidact director. In 1984 he set up a small group with a number of friends and relatives to work collectively. "Emma" (1988) signalled his concentration on directing. He was responsible for "Bonjour Madame" (1993), "La Tristeza Complice" (1995) and "Iets op Bach" (1998), with which les ballets C de la B (as the group was now called) rocketed to the international top. In the meantime his collaboration with Arne Sierens had a similar effect on the Ghent youth theatre company Victoria, with the three plays "Moeder en Kind" (1995), Bernadetje (1996) and "Allemaal Indiaan" (1999).
After Allemaal Indiaan he announced that he was stopping making productions. But shortly afterwards Gerard Mortier persuaded him to do "Wolf" (2003) based on Mozart for the Ruhrtriennale. The choir project for the opening of the new KVS marked the start of close collaboration with the composer Fabrizio Cassol. "vsprs" (2006) proved to be a turning point in his career. So far his work had been exuberant in both the diversity of performers and the themes, but now it became more profound and intense and revealed a world of passion and desire. And violence, as in "Nine Finger" (2007) with Benjamin Verdonck and Fumiyo Ikeda.

"After the baroque pitié!" (2008), "Out Of Context – for Pina" (January 2010) is an almost ascetic reflection of the movement repertoire of spasms and tics. Platel consistently continues to search this language of movement for incarnations of feelings that are too vast. The yearning for something transcending the individual is becoming more and more palpable.
In collaboration with director Frank Van Laecke, he created "Gardenia" (June 2010), a production in which the closing of a transvestite cabaret affords us a glimpse into the private lives of a memorable group of old artists. In 2015 Alain Platel and Frank Van Laecke renew their collaboration, this time joined by composer Steven Prengels, for "En avant, marche !" a performance about a society inspired by the tradition of fanfare orchestras and brass bands.
"C(H)ŒURS" (2012), so far Platel’s biggest project, is created on demand of opera director Gerard Mortier. He got to work with the famous choral scenes from Verdi’s operas, later on he added pieces of music from Richard Wagner’s works. In "C(H)ŒURS" he examines –together with his dancers and the Teatro Real choir – how ‘dangerously beautiful’ a group can be. The political connotation in performances such as "tauberbach" (2014) and "Coup Fatal" (in collaboration with Fabrizio Cassol 2014) lies in the joie de vivre and energy that is displayed on stage to show how people sometimes live or even survive in undignified circumstances (a landfill in tauberbach and the real living conditions of the musicians from Congo in Coup Fatal). “Lust for life” as a way of rebellion.

But let it be clear, Platel is not just into large scale projects nowadays. In the recent past, he worked on small projects such as Nachtschade (for Victoria in 2006) and coaching work for amongst others Pieter and Jakob Ampe and their production "Jake & Pete’s big reconciliation attempt for the disputes form the past" (in 2011). Two projects which have had a significant influence on his way of perceiving theatre. He also almost surreptitiously entered the arena of the dance film together with the British director Sophie Fiennes ("Because I Sing" in 2001, "Ramallah!Ramallah!Ramallah!" in 2005 and "VSPRS Show and Tell" in 2007) and solo with de balletten en ci en là (2006), an impressive view of what goes on in a twenty-year-old dance company, taking us all the way to Vietnam and Burkina Faso, but also and mainly being an ode to his home town Ghent.

Source: Les Ballets C de la B

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Ballets C de la B (Les)

Artistic Direction: Alain Platel
Creation: 1984

Les Ballets C de la B (Belgian Contemporary Ballet), formed by Alain Platel in 1984, is a company now regularly acclaimed in Begium and elsewhere. Over time it has adopted a working-platform structure which brings together several choreographers. Christine De Smedt and Koen Augustijnen figure alongside Alain Platel; Hans Van den Broeck and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui have also taken part. Since its inception, Les Ballets C de la B has been committed to involving talented young artists, active in different disciplines and from varied backgrounds, in the dynamic creative process. The company is currently host to two guest choreographers, Lisi Estaràs and Ted Stoffer. The unique mix of diverse artistic visions, which feed each other, makes it impossible to define the Ballets precisely. Nevertheless, a kind of “house style” is emerging. It is popular, anarchic, eclectic and engaged, under the motto “This dance is part of the world and the world belongs to everyone.” 

Source: Les ballets C de la B 's website

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European Video Dance Heritage

European Video Dance Heritage

European Video Dance Heritage project is an analysis and experimental programme funded by the European Commission (Culture programme) which aims to structure a European memory of dance through video and to transmit this heritage to younger generations, considering its political, economic, technical, legal and educational dimensions.

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